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Welcome to the St. Lucie County
Health Department

Upcoming Events

9/18/2014: Council on Aging Health Expo
9/20/14: Wear Red Event - Red Fashion Show Contest

Is it safe to go to the beach?
Vibrio vulnificus facts

“Flesh eating bacteria” has been a popular local and national news topic recently and many people have been scared away from Florida's beaches. There is a lot of misunderstanding about Vibrio vulnificus, so please read this month's EPIsodes (link on right hand column) and continue to enjoy Florida's natural beauty. Additional information can also be found at the links provided below:

Vibrio Vulnificus (Vv)
Online Newsroom - Information on Vibrio vulnificus
Florida Healthy Beaches Program
Handling and Serving Oysters - FAQ
Press Release 8-19-2014

In the Community . . .

Doctors and healthcare providers: Did you miss this important message sent July 28, 2014? Call (772) 462-3883 and ask to receive Epidemiology´s health alert emails.

Greetings Community Partners,
Due to the recent identification of locally acquired chikungunya infections across Florida, please maintain a high level of suspicion for arboviral illness whenever diagnosing viral syndrome and/or when encountering patients with fever and joint pain (please see attached document for more details).

General guidance for chikungunya testing is as follows:

Suspect chikungunya (or other mosquito borne illnesses) cases should be reported to your county health department by the next business day to initiate appropriate mosquito control actions.

Suspect Chikungunya Cases With Recent International Travel to Tropical or Semi-Tropical Areas (including the Caribbean):

  • Acute serum sample (< 7 days post onset) with recent (2 weeks prior to symptom onset) travel to an endemic area including the Caribbean can be sent to a commercial Laboratory (Focus Diagnostics) for chikungunya RT-PCR and IgM antibody serologic (ELISA or IFA) testing. If testing at a commercial laboratory is not an option (uninsured patient, etc.), and the patient has high fever and arthralgia in two of more joints, please contact your county health department to determine if samples can be sent to the DOH laboratories in Tampa or Jacksonville.
    • RT-PCR is the most reliable test for acute samples; ELISA/IFA IgM testing is also recommended if possible.
    • 1-2 ml of serum should be collected in a red or tiger-top tube sent chilled, overnight for chikungunya RT-PCR and ELISA/IFA testing.
    • Dengue and chikungunya circulate in the many of the same countries, cause similar types of febrile illness, and co-infections are possible; therefore dengue testing may often also be appropriate.
  • Convalescent serum sample (>7 days post onset) can be sent to a commercial lab for chikungunya IgM and IgG serologic (ELISA or IFA) testing.
    • 1-2 ml of serum collected in a red or tiger-top tube sent chilled, overnight is recommended for chikungunya IgM and IgG ELISA/IFA testing.

Suspect Chikungunya Cases Without Recent International Travel:

  • Suspected locally acquired chikungunya (or dengue) cases should be reported to your county health department immediately (772) 462-3883 and if cases meet clinical criteria, your county health department will help to expedite testing at DOH laboratories.

Chikungunya testing is available from Focus via Quest. LabCorp has also provided instructions for ordering chikungunya testing from Focus through them:

  • Providers should order the generic test code 0098985 (miscellaneous).
  • From there they can order 45606 chikungunya (RT PCR) and/or 40680 Chikungunya antibodies with reflex(es) to titer

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne virus or arbovirus and is transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquito species. The most common symptoms of chikungunya are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.

Humans are the primary reservoir during epidemics. Travelers who go to the Caribbean are at risk of getting chikungunya. In addition, travelers to Africa, Asia, and islands in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific also are at risk as the virus is spread in many of these areas.

There are no vaccines for chikungunya or dengue, so the key is to prevent mosquito bites.

For more information:

Press Releases:
7/30/2014 -- Health Officials Confirm Case of Chikungunya Fever
8/1/2014 -- Health Officials Investigating Chikungunya Fever Activity 8/29/2014 -- Health Officials Confirm Second Case of Chikungunya Fever

General information about chikungunya virus and disease is available from CDC at:

Chikungunya information for clinicians is available at:

Travel Notices

What is an imported case?     What is local transmission?

A Progress Report on the State of the Social, Health, and Public Safety Services in St. Lucie County for 2012

Show me the Progress Report

Health Access Network Delivery Systems of St. Lucie County

Teen Zone - Free and Confidential Services - Opens in new window
Free and confidential clinic for teens from 13-19. Services include: pregnancy testing, nutrition and diet, health education, career skills, STD testing, and much more.  More Information.
Logo for the Medical Reserve CorpMRC volunteers include medical, public health and community members.

More information . . ..

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